The Grand Canyon

Scott and I decided for Memorial Weekend we'd get out of the city for a few days and head to the Grand Canyon.

Friday night, after work, we loaded up the car with all our luggage, and Drake, and hit the road. Note to self: NEVER attempt to exit Los Angeles at 6:00PM on the Friday of a holiday weekend. Our trip was supposed to take about six and-a-half hours. It took us eight. Ugh.
Drake chillin' in the backseat on the way to Arizona.

At 2:00AM Saturday we made it to our hotel. I don't know who was more exhausted from the trip - Drake or Scott and me.

Saturday we slept in a bit, which after finally getting to bed around 2:30 was very much needed. We decided we wanted to check out the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Scott checked to see where it was in relation to our hotel, we were at the South Rim of the Canyon... The Skywalk was on the West Rim of the Canyon. THREE hours ONE WAY. I booked the hotel, not realizing how far it was from the main thing we wanted to do. But, we packed ourselves up with Drake and headed to the Skywalk. Though it was another long day of travel, it was very much worth it!

Part of they Skywalk tour includes a bus shuttle to three view points. Talk about breath-taking!

We spent some time on the Skywalk. The last photo in this series is Eagle Point. See the eagle formation in the rock? 

Day Two we headed to the South Rim with Drake. We figured a day of some hiking would be good for all of us. We didn't venture off the main Rim Trail, but we caught some amazing views and enjoyed the wonder of the Canyon.
I think Drake had a great time, too!
The pictures don't even begin to do this place any justice.

We were hoping to catch a helicopter tour of the canyon, but due to our not-so-good luck the weather prohibited us from doing so; there were wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour, not a good idea to fly around apparently. Perhaps will get our helicopter tour on our next visit.

On our way out of the National Park we saw Smokey the Bear and had to get our photos taken with him. :)
As Smokey says, "Only YOU can prevent forest fires!"

On our way back to LA I think everyone was ready to get home. Including Drake. :)
I think he was trying to help Scott navigate.

Even though we did a TON of driving it was a great little get-away for us!


Happy Memorial Day

General Patton said, "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." The cost of our freedom has been paid for by veterans, heroes who gave up all of their tomorrows so we may enjoy ours. Today we honor and thank them for their sacrifice to our great nation, for our foundation of freedom is built solely on the lives of these heroes. Lest we forget...

Happy Memorial Day


5th Grade Graduation

Two years ago I began mentoring through YouthFriends in Kansas City, Kansas. I was paired with Catalina. 

While I lived in Kansas City I went to her school and met with her every week. After I moved she and I continued our weekly meetings via Skype. And, last October Catalina was my junior bridesmaid. 

This past week Catalina graduated from 5th grade. I'm so proud of her!! I just wish I could have been there to help her celebrate.
(Catalina on her graduation night)

Going into the mentoring program, I thought there was so much I would teach. It's funny how in the end, I think I'm the one who's learning the most. :) 


Sleepy Time

Lately it's been tough getting some quality shut-eye. A friend of mine introduced me to some AMAZING tea, and it seems to do the trick when it comes to falling asleep.

Sleepy Time Tea - LOVE IT! I was a little weary of the product, but the past two nights I've had a cup about 20 minutes before heading to bed, I put my head to the pillow and I'm o-u-t. 

The only warning... Be sure to hit the restroom right before bed, otherwise a cup of this will result in waking around 3AM, which is a bit counter-productive. :)


Pay It Forward

A few evenings ago Scott and I were making one of our regular trips to the grocery store. While driving we passed a couple sitting at a bus stop. Something about the couple had us thinking they weren't waiting for a bus. Their attire seemed a bit ragged, as if it hadn't been washed in awhile. There was a shopping cart near them, filled to the brim with what looked like personal belongings. It seemed as if this couple was homeless, and possibly in need of a little help.

As Scott and I pulled into the grocery store we decided that not only would we buy the items needed on our list, we'd pick something up for the couple. Neither Scott nor I had ever done this... Buy food for people we didn't know. What if they didn't like what we bought? What if they had allergies? But, what if they were really hungry... We decided on what most would consider a small lunch: a deli sandwich, an apple, and a bottle of water, each. Nothing extravagant, but enough to fill up on.

After our purchase we made our way to the couple. Each of us a little apprehensive. What if they didn't need our help? What if they were really just waiting for the bus? What if we offended them? Something kept prodding me along; what if they were really hungry...

Scott did the talking, something along the lines of, "We're not sure if you could use this, but we thought you may like this." The man looked at us with bright eyes, and gratefully answered "Yes! Of course." The woman was quiet but smiled and nodded. As we turned to walk away we offered a "God bless.".

The thought often crosses my mind that maybe they didn't need our help. And, if they didn't, perhaps one day they'll pay it forward...


Location, Location, Location

After much discussion Scott and I have decided to seriously look into the option of owning a home. We've spoken with a realtor, and we've started searching for homes online. 

To purchase a home within our price range we would either have to purchase a townhouse, condo, or move to "the valley." Any of these options would most likely mean a 30 minute morning commute for Scott, and at least 45 minutes at night. Ugh. 

And, looking at what we can buy in SoCal, compared to what we could afford in the Kansas City area, wow.

At the very top of our price range, this is typically what you can get in "the valley."
3 bed, 2 bath, 1,868 sq ft
Built in 1949

And, here's what you could get, for the same price, in Northern Johnson County, Kansas.
5 bed, 4 bath, 5,001 sq ft
Built in 2006

It almost makes you sick to look at the difference. Clearly it's all about location... 

Wish us luck as we move forward with our home-buying decision!


Six Month Report

Wow, is it possible it's been six months since my car accident?! So much has happened since November 15.

Let's take a look back at the progress made in the past six months...

My poor Altima.
(November 15, 2010)
I didn't see this coming at all. I was supposed to be traveling 180 degrees from where my car is resting in this photo. 
(November 15, 2010)
We think the airbags are what broke my arm. 
(November 15, 2010)
Both bones in my forearm had been snapped.
(November 15, 2010)
A closer look at the radius and ulna.
(November 15, 2010)
This picture still gives me the heebeegeebees.
(November 15, 2010)
In the ER, roughly four hours after the accident.
(November 15, 2010)
The night after I was released from the ER. I had no idea how awesome I looked - especially my swollen face. The hospital released me without plating, screwing or casting the arm. I could literally feel my bones moving and rubbing against each other. Who knew I'd be so grateful for pain killers.
(November 15, 2010)
FOUR DAYS after my accident the hospital was able to schedule me for surgery. Here are the bones, back where they belong, courtesy of two plates and 12 screws.
(November 19, 2010)

DISCLAIMER: The next photo is totally gross.

It was time to take off the full arm cast, remove the staples, and put on a half-arm cast.
(Roughly four weeks after surgery)
Woohoo! It was time to get the cast off. My right arm was much skinnier and weaker than my left arm. There was lots of physical therapy in my future...
(January 5, 2011)
Ew. My arm was so gross.
(January 5, 2011)

Two days after my cast had been removed I began physical therapy. For four months I saw a therapist, three days a week, for two hours each visit. Therapy may be one of the most difficult, painful things I've ever endured. On April 22, 2011 I had my last physical therapy appointment. 
I'm finally fully functional. However, there are a few things I still have trouble doing (turning a key to lock or unlock a door is the biggie). I'm still not cleared to play volleyball or softball, but in time that will come. 
Exactly six months after the crash/break, here's my arm. All that's left is a scar that is fading with each day.
(May 15, 2011)

From all of this I've learned so much; the biggest being able to ask for help, and realizing that as much as I'd like to be in control of everything, I'm not. 

I thank the Good Lord every day for all that He's given me, especially my amazing husband whose has dealt with all of this, been my rock, and been my biggest cheerleader as I make my way back to "normal."
Notice, in my RIGHT hand, a yummy glass of vino. :)


Thanks Sarah K.!

Awhile back I was reading my friend Sarah's blog regarding a Banana Bread Beer she had tried. Yep, sounds different, but I had to try it out! It took me quite some time to actually find the stuff, but when I did I'm pretty sure I did a little happy dance in the middle of World Market.
The picture is a bit blurry, as I used my cell phone -- and I may have been wrapping my happy dance. Soooo... What did it taste like? Awesomeness! It was a great, light beer, with the slightest kick of banana bread at the end of each sip. It is safe to say I'll be purchasing this often, or as often as I can find it.
To Sarah K., thanks for your blog suggestion, I've found a new, favorite fruity beer!

Since I'm on the topic of adult refreshments... Scott and I have been on somewhat of a cider kick. If we're out and about and see cider on a restaurant/bar menu odds are we're trying it out.
Our last purchase was Ace Pear Cider. I love this stuff! It's so light and crisp, and doesn't leave your stomach feeling heavy and full. So delicious! While Scott's parents were visiting we had them try it, and now they're turned on to it as well.

With all this talk of yummy drinks I can't wait for the next BBQ/gathering to open up a cider or Banana Bread Beer!


Griffith and Getty

As the weather warms up friends and family are beginning to think travel and vacation. Lucky for us, L.A. has been a choice destination for many! This past week/weekend Scott's parents drove - yes, drove! - from Kansas to L.A. to see some of the sights.

The Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory sits high up in the Hollywood Hills.
The observatory has a spectacular view of L.A. Unfortunately, we weren't able to check out the huge telescopes, as they are only available for viewing when it's dark. Clearly, it wasn't dark when we visited.
Inside, there are several exhibits on all things space. According to Trip Advisor, Griffith is the number two thing to do on the Top 10 Things to Do in L.A. (A HUGE perk - parking AND admission are FREE - practically unheard of in L.A.!)

Aw :)
Griffith also has a GREAT view of the Hollywood sign. Possibly one of the best in the city.

J. Paul Getty Museum
The Getty was awesome. I'm not a huge art buff, but this place made it impossible not to appreciate all things artsy. From every exhibit, in all FOUR buildings, to the Central Garden, this place was spectacular.

There were pieces of water art throughout the place. Loved it!

The center of the Central Garden.

Central Garden.

The Getty is rated as the number one thing to do in L.A., according to Trip Advisor.
Upon entering the facility it felt as if we'd completely left the city. Scott and I will most definitely be back! (Parking was not free,  but admission was!)

Just a couple more reasons to visit L.A.!!! :)



A few days ago I was surprised to this beautiful bouquet.
I had no idea who they were from, or why I'd received them. But the card was clearly marked with my name.

Whomever the sender was did a spectacular job choosing the flowers, as I LOVE any type of lily, and this bouquet is bursting with them. With so many beautiful flowers, I had a hard time deciding which "side" of the bouquet I wanted as the "front."

Upon opening the card I found my boss and manager had been so kind as to send the bouquet my way! How sweet of them!!